Swimming is a fun activity for when the weather starts to warm up or as a sport/hobby. But swimming in a pool of chlorine and other chemicals is bound to have some effect not just on your skin but your hair. Many swimmers don’t think twice about hair care when it comes to swimming, which can make them prone to hair damage and discoloration.
Swimming is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise. Unfortunately, constant exposure to chlorinated pool water or salt water can damage hair, leaving it dry and brittle. A hair care regimen for swimmers should focus on preventing and alleviating these problems.
Wear a Swim Cap
Many swimmers scoff at the swim cap. Unfortunately, their unwillingness to wear the cap may cost them healthy hair. Though your hair may get slightly wet under the swim cap, the cap prevents most of your hair from soaking in chlorine or saltwater. Consider applying conditioner to your hair prior to putting on your cap to prevent hair from becoming dry and weak. Wear your cap the correct way to prevent water from seeping in. Tie your hair in a bun to keep hair out of the way, then open the swim cap with each hand holding one side. The seam of the cap should be between your hands. Bend your head down and tuck your forehead into the front of the cap. Stretch the cap over your head until it covers your hairline.
Wash Or Rinse Hair Immediately After Swimming
Many pool facilities have accompanying showers. Take advantage of this amenity and wash your hair immediately after swimming. Keep shampoo in your locker, or pack it with your swim gear. If you do not have shampoo, at the very least, rinse your hair before thoroughly washing your hair at home. Washing or rinsing gets the majority of chlorine or saltwater out of hair. The longer these harmful substances stay in hair, the more damage they do. Likewise, wash the rest of your body with soap to remove chlorine and saltwater from your skin after swimming.
Use Hair Products for Swimmers
Products made for swimmers’ hair specifically address the damage pool or ocean water does to hair. After prolonged exposure to these substances, hair becomes brittle, and may even be in danger of turning green. This happens when there is excess copper in the hair because of chlorine exposure. Hair products designed specifically for swimmer’s hair have ample vitamin C, vitamin E and other botanical nutrients to remove copper from hair, and restore hair proteins. An alternative to store-bought products is an at-home remedy. Instead of shampooing, rinse hair with lemon juice or vinegar after a day at the pool. Leave the solution in for about 15 minutes (or longer depending on how long you’ve been in the pool), and rinse it out with water.
Hair & Skin Protection Tips
This year make the most of that vibrant glow without the worry of wrinkles or other skin damage simply by following these simple tips.
- Shower Before and After a Swim. Most people make a practice of showering immediately after going for a swim but many experts advise a pre-swim shower. Not only does it reduce bacterial levels in the pool but the fresh water may assist in reducing the rate of chlorine absorption especially with dry hair.
- Practice Safe Skin Tips Every Time. Chlorinated pools arent the only source of skin irritation; hot tubs, spas and even salt in the ocean can exert their own influence on hair and skin. In fact, even so called chlorine-free pools that use salt generators may actually do more harm than you realize. Salt generators remove chlorine from the water but recycle the chloramines (the by-product of previously used chlorine) from salt back into chlorine, effectively exposing swimmers to chlorine without even realizing it. Always rinse skin and hair with a chlorine-out product like Triswim after every dip in the pool.
- Hydrate. Its a good idea to drink plenty of fluids whenever you are in the sun, but water also helps detoxify the body. Chemicals used to treat pools can damage to skin or even cause a rash. Help the body flush impurities and restore the natural moisture balance by remaining hydrated at all times.
- Avoid Bad Products. Resist the temptation to try inexpensive suntan lotions or other products with inferior ingredients. Fillers, preservatives and even fragrances contained in these products often dry and irritate skin even further. Combined with chlorine and sunshine, its a recipe for wrinkles, flakes and rash. Instead, invest in quality products that only use properly balanced ingredients. Keep an eye on other common culprits like over-the-counter medications that may make you more sensitive to the sun than usual or even more prone to situational conditions like razor burn.
- Use Protective Barriers. Expose your sensitive skin to the sun slowly and use protective barriers like hats, sunglasses and sunscreen wisely. Its easy to lose track of the time, so have a plan of action in place before sitting down beside the pool or going for a quick swim. Not only will it help keep you comfortable, but your skin will appreciate the extra protection for years to come.
- Wash, Rinse and Moisturize. Hair and skin need plenty of pampering especially after the constant exposure to chlorine, sun and even sea salt. Always rinse chlorine away from hair and skin as soon as possible while following-up with a deep clean and conditioner. Triswim provides a complete line of chlorine-out products for pool and salt water swimmers including shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion. Each removes the odor and chemical residue associated with chlorination while moisturizing and nourishing skin and hair.
- Take Your Vitamins. Beauty is more than skin deep so it should come as no surprise that your body needs a little additional boost during summer months. Perspiration and the expulsion of excess liquids tend to flush vitamins and minerals (as well as toxins) from the body while UV radiation and other chemicals require additional antioxidants. Nurture your skin with the proper nutritional supplements (think SunPill UV Skin Support or VitaMedica Broad Spectrum Antioxidant) for full protection from the elements.